Considerations for Automated Mobile Testing Solution

By CIOReview | Thursday, September 8, 2016

Testing is a process equally significant as developing an innovative, intuitive mobile application in the Software Development Life Cycle. The process is essential to ensure there are no hitches when it is finally delivered to the end-user—corporate or a consumer device and application. Though, manual testing comes to mind, it brings-in a set of limitations such as being expensive in terms of cost and time in addition to unrevealed errors, and so on. To overcome the hindrance and give quality outcome, organizations go for automated testing solutions. However, it is pivotal to make sure that the mobile applications developed are tested with right automated mobile testing procedures and processes to achieve positive ratings for the app among the customers globally.

CIOs should be diligent when looking for the best automated testing solution to render high quality mobile applications and can be conscious about the below factors.

Handling Device Challenges

There are thousands of different models and brands in the mobile device space, which pose a challenge in testing mobile apps to make them globally compatible with any device. Manually testing the app or website with this huge space of devices has become burdensome. Therefore it is recommended to test the mobile apps with automated test solution. To effectively overcome the ‘device’ challenge, organizations can leverage real devices, emulated devices, or use a combination of both in their testing strategy.

Real devices are expensive, labor intensive, and can be discouraged if the testing environment does not contribute to collecting, creating, and reproducing outcomes in a consistent manner. On the other hand, emulator is relatively low in implementation cost, easier to manage, and helps to switch device types by simply allowing new devices to load instantly. Though emulators are cost effective and helps in mobile testing with ease, it may not be feasible to solely rely on this method 100 percent; it is necessary to test with real devices. So it is ideal to look for an automated solution that integrates both the emulators and real devices.

Support Real Network Conditions

There are over 400 mobile network operators, worldwide. Each operator supports multiple network technologies such as CDMA, WCDMA, HSDPA, GSM, LTE, and UMTS and some use less common or local network technologies such as FOMA, iDEN, and TD-SCDMA. The automated mobile test solution should surpass all network challenges, whether it is regional or international networks.

Remote Access to Devices

The testing solution should offer remote access for a range of present-day devices so that testers can access those devices online from a remote site and conduct various tests. Remote access feature will aid to test both in-house devices as well as the ones hosted on cloud by a service provider. By doing so, the testing efforts will become flexible and helps scale the process of testing.

Support Manual and Automated Testing

The dependency of small organizations and startups on manual testing during initial stages may not be a bad idea. At later stages, the organization will need to go for automated mobile testing to realize labor savings and associated time. Yet, it is recommended to have a mobile test solution that supports both manual and automated test approach incase the organizations do not want to invest in automated mobile testing program.

Evaluate End-User Interruption and Device Functionality

Users rely on their smartphones for various functionalities and features like message alerts and notifications, phone calls, emails and more inorder to keep their life running smooth. In contrary, these functionalities might have a negative effect while processing crucial tasks like payment to vendors and money transfer. Sometimes, the users’ device may run low on its battery and could lead to loss of application data. Develop a mobile test strategy which should give the ability to simulate common user situations to have a complete panorama of the impact on the end-user experience.

Endorse Object Identification

Mobile app test case recognizes each element on the screen as object. As a part of recording and playback, testing tools leverage various techniques to recognize these objects. The common object identification methods are OCR and Object ID recognition. Leveraging suitable object recognition methods should be taken care while automating the test process to bring high accuracy and outcome of the approach.

Native apps, Web, and hybrid apps

The three types of applications available in the market are Web, Native, and Hybrid apps, designed to support the multiple users and devices across the globe. Web apps are scripted using HTML5 or java, native apps are written in languages that apply in mobile operating systems, and hybrid apps leverage combination of languages to support Camera and GPS. The automated mobile test solution should be designed to handle all these three types of apps.

There are many factors to consider while selecting automated mobile testing solution based on the requirements and tools available in the digital market. Compared with notebook and desktop, mobile resources such as memory and processing power are limited. Also, the traffic of the mobile has grown exponentially over the years. Testing solutions should not compromise in regard to the performance of the mobile. It is crucial to get the mobile devices and applications pass through performance testing that has a well-designed testing strategy in terms of security features to avoid any data leakages, cross-site scripting, and access management issues.